Mind, Body, Spirit, and Lifestyle

I often feel like I’m a walking contradiction at times because I simply cannot align my spiritual being with my physical being. There always seems to be a struggle between the two because the body wants what it wants while my mind tells me that may not be the wisest choice.For example chocolate ice cream, I love chocolate ice cream! However, I simply cannot eat it all the time. It’s a fact that it’s fattening, full of sugar and doesn’t contain all the necessary nutrients to sustain my good health. My mind knows this, but my physical craving for it to satisfy my taste buds rationalize otherwise thus creating the dilemma.Should I obey and give in to my inner desire and craving for the ice cream or should I stand firm, resist the temptation and exert a little self discipline to maintain a healthier lifestyle? We make seemingly simple choices like that all day everyday. Although we may not pay the price right away for the choice we make for something as trivial as ice cream; our decisions for whether or not to instantly gratify our desires will have it’s consequences over time.I find this to be especially true as I’m fast approaching my 40th birthday. The choices and decisions I’ve made in my youth has not only caught up to me but is solidifying itself in my character, personality, and my lifestyle as well. No one becomes fat over night. I need to learn how and have the discipline to maintain a healthier lifestyle if I want to be slim,trim and fit.Let’s switch gear here for a moment and just pretend that the choice we have to make is a little bit more important than ice cream. Say religion, which seems to be an almost taboo subject these day. We have so many radicals and activists that’s teaching us to be “politically correct”, to be more accepting of other peoples lifestyles and less judgmental whether we agree with it or not.When it comes to my own spirituality, I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a Christian. Look no one’s perfect. If the “politically correct” people don’t want “religion” to be pushed on them, I’m fine with that. After all, I still like to think we have our own free will. The only problem is, I don’t want gay and lesbian agenda pushed on me or my children either. “If we don’t stand for something we’ll fall for anything.”If we can’t talk about God in school, I really don’t want same sex marriages to be taught in the same school system either. So where am I going with all of this or what am I getting at? Our Lifestyle of course. My mind, body, and spirit may not always be in harmony, but what we chose today and everyday will most definitely define our lifestyle.I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply cannot harmonize my mind, body, and spirit without mixing love, faith, and obedience. Being a Christian is not about being perfect, it’s about being forgiven. Being able to forgive and love one another is the ultimate lifestyle.

What to Look For When Purchasing DME Billing Software

The purchase of software can be a difficult task, especially because it is one of the most significant business decisions that you will make. The right software or technology solution can lower DSO, improve productivity, reduce costs and boost morale, playing a significant part in driving your business. The wrong decision can be a disaster.Major considerations should revolve around the functionality of the application, the operating system and database software, the stability of the software vendor, support, the vendor’s long term plans, training and implementation services, the level of satisfaction of their clients and availability of technologies such as document imaging and bar coding. Whether or not all of the above is important today, as your business grows, they will all be significant.The following are some of the issues that should be taken into consideration in evaluating the software and vendor to hopefully avoid making the wrong choice.What is the difference between a “billing” system and a “Management” Solution?Despite the marketing hype, most of the software packages being sold into HME and Infusion Pharmacy market are no more than glorified billing systems with some additional features the vendor treats as secondary in importance, like “inventory control”. In most cases the software vendor has determined that the core business of a HME or Infusion Provider is to bill. We all know that this is not just incorrect; it is insulting! Billing is the end result of what we all must do, and providing quality patient care by supplying products and services is the reason the business exists.Despite the focus on billing, many of these vendors fail to truly understand the entire operational needs of a Provider, and this can result in a situation where whether or not you get paid the first time a claim is submitted can be hit or miss. A true management solution will have built in checks and balances to insure that all departments are completing required tasks so that only “valid” orders are shipped and the claims submitted will be paid. From patient intake, to order entry, to billing, nothing should fall between the cracks that is necessary to provide the patient with the required products and services, and ultimately allow you to get paid.A management solution will go beyond billing and will impact virtually every aspect of your business including; manage the clinical record, provide access to management and marketing data for better decision making, inventory & purchasing, dispatching, customer service, accounts receivable & collections, equipment maintenance, pharmacy operations and your retail store, if applicable.A true management solution incorporates the latest technology; document imaging, point of care, bar coding, electronic interfaces for connecting to third party products, etc., and is provided by a company committed to keeping abreast of and making the best use of technology changes.Why is there usually a significant difference in pricing between systems?Much of the price differences relate to the billing vs. management solution discussion outlined above. To develop a sophisticated system that encompasses all of the many aspects of the total operation of a Provider may require the vendor, to invest millions of dollars every year vs. thousands of dollars for a typical billing package. When it comes to pricing, most of the time you get what you pay for, not just in terms of functionality and benefits of the product, but also from the vendor in terms of support, training and other services. One of the concerns a user needs to understand is that low-end systems simply do not justify a high enough price to provide the vendor with the resources to hire the best employees. Throughout the software industry there is a trend in which companies with low end products are not surviving, as they cannot build up the revenue base to make it work. The failure rate among software vendors in this market over the years is significant because on top of all the other challenges, the number of potential HME or Infusion clients is limited, therefore the strategy of going after market share (volume) does not apply. Hence their clients are placed at a serious risk! This is evident by the number of software companies that have either gone out of business or are struggling to release their first true (we will explain this shortly) Windows based system, 10 years after Fastrack released the Fastrack HME for Windows® solution.The difference in software for this market is similar to comparing a Hyundai to a Lexus. Both will get you to work every morning but there is a significant difference in the level of comfort, safety, and features. Since there is a significant cost difference to manufacture a Lexus, it is sold at a higher price. In regards to pricing, software is no different than the car, truck, copier, or the equipment you resell. The better products, for good reason, come with a higher price tag. Make sure you are really comparing apples with apples because the feature set in the management system will far out weigh the billing system in terms of overall benefits for the business.Buying the right software solution can have a major positive or negative effect on your business. We cannot tell you how many prospects come to us that are on their 3rd, 4th, or even 5th system and have told us that they looked at Fastrack each time but went with the least expensive solution. The low cost solution did not meet their needs, especially as the business grew. Ironically, in the long run it turned out to be more expensive due to the cost of the software, training, and converting all the data over to the next new system.Most people do not realize that the cost between the cheap solution and buying a true management solution, when leased, may not even be that significant. Just as when you lease a truck or copier, the real concern should be the monthly cash outlay. For example, the difference between a $25,000 and a $15,000 software purchase on a 60-month lease is only $200 per month! When you factor in the tax benefits that may be available to you this number can be reduced even further. When factoring the appropriate deductions, your out of pocket costs can be as little as 60% of the purchase price. Even still, is it not worth $200 a month more to have the same software and technology that some of the major Providers are using to their competitive advantage?Is there a significant difference between different vendors’ software support, training & implementation staff?Getting quick and accurate assistance from the vendor is key in making the implementation of a new software management solution a success and receiving the most benefit out of the software. A key issue is whether or not the staff has worked in the industry and truly understands your needs. You do not want to be training the software vendors’ staff on reimbursement in order to get your problems solved. You also want a vendor that will send out people with substantial industry knowledge to help you plan the implementation. Some vendors do not even offer this service!Access to their help desk software over the Internet, Internet based training courses for new employees and product enhancements, advanced communication systems for routing calls to the most appropriate customer service representative, are just some examples of the things that make a difference and you should look for these services from your software vendor, before purchasing their software. Also, check to make sure the support fees you are being quoted are all inclusive. Some vendors charge extra when there is a major update.If they advertise “Windows” does that mean Microsoft Windows?NO! Unfortunately, there are quite a few vendors advertising and demonstrating Windows like features in their software but use a programming tool that mimics Microsoft Windows, however it is not the Microsoft Windows that we are all familiar with on our personal computers. There are some companies that are using Microsoft Windows but only as a front end to a legacy DOS or UNIX system. They do this primarily for marketing reasons, to try to compete with those of us that do have true Microsoft Windows systems. Besides that they are simply not being honest with you, there are some serious technical issues that this presents. Having a Windows front end such as order entry or patient intake talking to a UNIX based billing module means two operating systems contending for the same resources. This will tend to slow the system down, even to the point of freezing the program, and is much more difficult to support.Should I wait for my present vendor to release their next generation of software products?You have probably been hearing for years from your present vendor of their impending plans to release a Windows or .NET system. Even if they finally do release a product, there are several very important issues to consider. Will the new product have all of the features you presently have now? This is highly unlikely! In the May edition of HME News, the editor quotes Terry Watson, Vice President of Sales for CareCentric (Dezine & Mestamed) saying, “But to say we have come up with a replacement is not the case.” If you are a Dezine or Mestamed user, from a practical standpoint, can you take a chance to walk away from functionality that you may really need? And what happens if they decide to stop support on your existing system or version? They are heavily advertising their new product (which is not yet available for HME and Infusion). When was the last time you saw an ad for the Mestamed or Dezine product? How many have they actually sold over the last few years? This same concern should hold true for many of the other vendors as well.Lack of functionality in their new products should be one concern; the other is how well they can support this new product? Moving from a DOS or UNIX environment to supporting Windows or .NET products requires a major change and tremendous practical experience and knowledge. Will they have the expertise and experience that it takes to properly assist you in this new environment, that to date have not had to support?Finally, look at the direction some of these vendors are taking. CareCentric, for example, has announced plans to move towards a long term care solution and a billing service. Both will take up a lot of resources and is clearly a change in their approach to the market.Does it matter where the product is developed?Absolutely! In an effort to bring products to market quickly, a number of vendors are outsourcing their product development efforts to countries like India, Russia, and China. While they have some very talented people, they will not have the exposure to HME, Infusion Pharmacy, or Home Healthcare Agency Operations. As a result they tend to copy the vendors existing DOS or UNIX product with the intent of just giving it a new Windows look and feel but fail to add new functionality and technology. However, support is handled by the US staff that does not have the intricate knowledge of how the product was written, making it difficult to support.In conclusion, understanding the flow of the software and its’ functionality to see that it meets your needs should carry significant weight in your decision. The purpose of this article is to raise issues for you that may be less obvious to hopefully aid in your decision.

The Number One Article On The Difference Between Motels And Hotels

So you are planning to make a business trip or vacation? You are also trying to determine what type of accommodation to choose when you travel? You have put in a lot of time and did your research to find the names of many motels and hotels, but you really aren’t sure of the difference between a hotel and motel, so you can’t decide where you should make your reservations, correct?What Is The Difference Between A Motel And A Hotel? The Hotel The hotel is a business, that provides lodging for a short period of time. In the past people were supplied with a bed, cabinet, a small desk or table and a wash basin in the room, but with time they soon came with modern amenities like bathrooms, heating, air conditioning, refrigerators, and more. Today they provide telephone, tv, and internet or wi-fi access to the guests. In the larger hotel chains the guests will usually have a gym facility, swimming pools, restaurants, and conference rooms. By checking hotel reviews before booking reservations, one can find which of these features and services are provided there.The amenities, services, features, and the facilities offered in each hotel, though, can be different in one country to another. In England, for example, the law states that food can only be served within predetermined hours to guests, but there are many private hotels to be found, where these rules simply don’t apply. In other countries like Canada, Australia, Ireland, and some areas of the United States, a hotel can mean a bar or a pub and may not even provide sleeping accommodations. The word hotel in Bangladesh, India and certain parts of Asia, is referred to as a restaurant.The Motel After World War II the word motel started to appear in the dictionaries. It really was originally a hotel, that was designed for travelers in vehicles to stop at night and to also provide for plenty of parking space for their vehicles. The word motel is literally a combination of the term motorist and hotel. A motel initially consisted of one facility which had connecting rooms, where all doors faced the parking lot. When the national highways started to develop and a need for less expensive hotels was sought, the idea of motels began to grow. These were very accessible nightly accommodations located close to all the main roads.The Hotel Versus The Motel One One difference between most motels and hotels is in their architecture. They will differ in both the construction as well as layout. Most hotels will normally have many rooms on separate floors of the establishment having stairwells, elevators and internal hallways, which lead directly to the rooms. On the other hand, motels normally only have one or two floors, and the guests can access their individual rooms directly from the parking area without traveling through any lobbies or corridors.Hotels will usually offer more services than a motel. These services could include things like a restaurant, gym, swimming pools, room service, and others. While motels are generally known to offer less services, you may find a few, which also have swimming facilities, a complimentary continental breakfast, and a few other things.Probably the main and many times the most important difference between a motel and a hotel is in the price. In most instances, the hotels will charge more than the motels for a night’s stay, but if you travel to less populated areas, then the rate of a discount hotel, and motel in a city, may be close to the same. Another difference is that guests can book more nights in a hotel, as they traditionally cater to a longer stay. There is also a difference found in the location of most motels and hotels. Motels are usually found in out of the way areas, while hotels will usually be found in cities and urban areas.Basically a motel is a hotel found near a highway, where guests can spend a night, while traveling long distances. But in the case of a hotel, they are more often used for an extended stay.